Joey Tilley of Whitnall singles with two outs in the seventh to break up the no-hitter being thrown by Milwaukee Pius XI lefty Sam Treffert. It wasn't quite enough -- Pius held on for the 1-0 victory in the Woodland quarterfinal July 5 in Franklin.
Pius XI head coach Kevin Kehoss noticed an unusual anxiety among his players late in the Woodland Conference quarterfinals against Whitnall, even more anxiety than one would expect in an eventual 1-0 win.
The thought popped into his head: "Is this a no-hitter?"
Kehoss’ gut was correct, as his pitcher Sam Treffert entered the seventh inning with a no-hitter and perfect game still intact one week after almost throwing a no-hitter against Pewaukee.
“I’m not going to lie,” Treffert said. “It was extremely nerveracking.”
The first two batters of the seventh grounded out, putting Treffert one out away.
"You're definitely thinking there's a possibility of a no-hitter," Whitnall coach Ben Krey said.
One strike away from finishing off the perfect game, a fastball ran a bit too high to Brady Cunningham. The perfect game was gone. Joey Tilley followed Cunningham’s walk with another first for the game — the first single. The no-no was no more.
Treffert notched the final strikeout to secure the 1-0 win, though Whitnall (14-9) did bounce back with wins over Shorewood and Wauwatosa West in the backdraw of the Woodland Conference Tournament one day later. It was a decent way to head into the WIAA postseason, even if the Falcons were kept out of the winner's bracket.
"We just couldn't make any adjustments to the speed, the offspeed or anything until that last inning," Whitnall coach Ben Krey said. "He just kept us off balance."
Treffert also drove in his team’s only offense in the fifth inning on a single that scored freshman Reyshawn Sprewer. Treffert’s one-hitter overshadowed a seven-inning, one-run performance by Whitnall pitcher Erik Tillman.
"Our guy pitched one heck of a ballgame," Krey said.
Tillman did not give up a hit until the fourth inning and held Pius to just five hits. The last time an opponent held Pius to fewer runs was in a 2-0 loss to Whitnall in the regular season.
"Erik Tillman gave us every opportunity to be in the game," Krey said. "He commanded his pitches and kept those guys off balance as well."
Whitnall 4, Shorewood 1
Tilley allowed one run on five hits, and Cunningham went 3 for 3 with three RBIs. His two-run single in the first helped the Falcons take a lead they would never rescind.
Whitnall 4, Tosa West 3
In the final game of the tourney, Whitnall scored in each of the first four innings and held on to prevail. Cunningham had two hits and Tilley drove in two runs. Ben Wirth went the distnace on the hill, allowing two earned runs.
Greenfield shut out
Griffin Doersching's RBI double opened the floodgates for Greendale in the fifth inning of the Woodland quarterfinal in a 4-0 win over Greenfield on July 5. The Panthers had worked through jams a couple times to keep the game scoreless. Starting pitcher Sean Sanchez picked off two Greenfield runners on first base.
The Hawks never found their footing. Chris Lopez worked five solid innings on the hill but took the loss in a 4-1 setback against Shorewood one day later. Earlier, on July 6, Wauwatosa West got the best of Greenfield, 10-9. The Hawks scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh but couldn't quite get back to even when Nick Price of Tosa West made a diving backhanded catch in the frame to stem the tide with runners at second and third.
Greenfield has lost 11 of 12 and enters the playoffs at 10-17.